PM Narendra Modi, Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif to meet on sidelines of SCO Summit

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif will meet on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Russia on July 10. According to sources, the two leaders, who will be present in Ufa to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit, will be meeting on the sidelines of it. However, the details of the meeting were not specified.

Modi, who is embarking on a six-nation visit today, will be in Russia to attend SCO as well as the BRICS Summit. Modi and Sharif had last met in Kathmandu in November at the SAARC Summit where they did not, however, hold any bilateral meeting.

Earlier at the beginning of the holy month of Ramzan, the Prime Minister had called Sharif and extended his best wishes while stressing the need for having peaceful and bilateral ties. During his telephonic conversation, Modi had also conveyed to his Pakistani counterpart India’s decision to release detained Pakistani fishermen on the occasion of Ramzan.

The call was seen by many as an attempt to reach out to Pakistan after leaders from both sides exchanged sharp comments after Modi’s critical remarks about Pakistan during his Bangladesh visit and in the wake of India’s military action in Myanmar.

India and Pakistan will start the process of joining a security bloc led by China and Russia at a summit in Russia later this week, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Monday, the first time the grouping has expanded since it was set up in 2001. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) groups China, Russia and the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, while India, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Mongolia are observers.

“As the influence of the SCO’s development has expanded, more and more countries in the region have brought up joining the SCO,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping told a news briefing.”…India

and Pakistan’s admission to the SCO will play an important role in the SCO’s development it will play a constructive role in pushing for the improvement of their bilateral relations.”

The SCO was originally formed to fight threats posed by radical Islam and drug trafficking from neighbouring Afghanistan. Cheng said that the summit, to be attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, would also discuss security in Afghanistan.

Beijing says separatist groups in the far western region of Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur minority, are seeking to form their own state called East Turkestan and have links with militants in Central Asia as well as Pakistan and Afghanistan. China says that Uighur militants, operating at the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), has also been working with Islamic State. “It can be said that ETIM certainly has links with the Islamic State, and has participated in relevant terrorist activities. China is paying close attention to this, and will have security cooperation with relevant countries,” Cheng said.

With inputs from Reuters

Posted by on July 6, 2015. Filed under Nation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.